YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For weeks now, Mahoning County Commissioners have ended their regular meetings with a plea from officials for county employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Thursday morning, they took things a bit further.
“Just call our office, call me, we’ll get them a vaccination. I will take them if they need to go,” said commissioner Carol Righetti.
This week, just about every county in northeast Ohio was labeled as having “substantial” spread of the virus and 33 counties in the state are now listed as “high.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending people in those counties wear masks indoors even if they’ve been vaccinated.
This week, both Cuyahoga and Summit counties imposed mask mandates for those working in or visiting county buildings, but that won’t be happening locally – at least not anytime soon.
“We’re not in a position to mandate anybody to do anything. That would be up to the governor,” said commissioner Anthony Traficanti.
As the greater Youngstown Italian Festival makes its return to the city, during the lunch hour Thursday afternoon First News found some people wearing face coverings even outdoors.
“If you wanna wear a mask and feel its your safety, or the safety of other people, whatever side of the coin you wanna do, and if you wanna wear the mask, wear the mask,” Traficanti said.
“For you and your family and your co-workers, just do what you feel is right,” Righetti said.
Both commissioners agree the best way to avoid mandates in the future is to get vaccinated now.